A few weeks ago, all you July bar exam takers received your results. If you passed, then congratulations, kudos, and bravo! Now skedaddle on to your jobs or job searches. If you didn't pass, this is not the time to fret. First, be glad you are taking the bar in America where you are allowed to take the exam as many times as your little law-trained heart desires-but hopefully only until you pass.
Now, I know that though all hope is not lost, failing the bar exam is still disheartening so I wanted to give you some very interesting information that you may or may not have known to brighten your spirits. I was curious to see how many successful and famous attorneys have actually failed a bar exam or two or three or four in their lives. And you know what? Many of my own role models showed up on the list! Let's take a journey through some of the prominent American attorneys I found that failed a bar exam in their lives.
- John F. Kennedy Jr., failed the NY bar exam twice before he passed on his third try.
- Hillary Clinton, the 67th Secretary of State, failed the D.C. bar exam on her first attempt but passed the Arkansas bar.
- Michelle Obama, the current first lady, failed the IL bar exam on her first attempt.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States of America, failed the New York bar exam on his first attempt.
- Jerry Brown, the current governor of California, failed the CA bar exam on his first attempt before passing on his second attempt.
- Kathleen Sullivan, former Dean of Stanford Law School, failed the CA bar exam on her first attempt.
- Pete Wilson, former governor of California, failed the California bar exam three times before he passed on his fourth try.
- Antonio Villaraigosa, the mayor of California, failed the CA bar exam four times before finally calling it quits.
- Harold Ford Jr., former United States Congressman, sat for and failed the Tennessee bar exam.
I hope that this list has given you some perspective. The above ten are just a few on a list of thousands of successful law students, who continued on after their failed bar exams to become inspiring attorneys, politicians, educators and role models.
Don't let your bar exam result stifle your goals and aspirations. Hope that was uplifting and interesting!